What's new? How much does it cost? And how does it perform? Hannah Holden brings you the low down on Ping's latest players irons

Ping are finally back with a replacement for the hugely successful i210 irons. So how do the new i230 irons perform? Find out in our Ping i230 irons review…

Ping i230 irons review: NCG Summary

Ping i230 irons review
Ping i230 irons review
NCG SUMMARY

A great option for lower-handicap golfers who are looking for irons that provide great feel, control and workability but with a sprinkling of added forgiveness.

Probably not the club if you are looking for something to give you extra distance unless you opt for the Power loft option.

PROS

  • Eye-catching to players
  • Good workability
  • Great spin control

CONS

  • Not the longest irons

Ping i230 irons review: First impressions

I can’t get over how much sleeker these look than the previous i210 irons from Ping. The whole club head looks so much more modern and stylish and I also like the overall more compact shaping.

Since the i210 model, Ping have reduced the blade length in the longer irons to give these a more tour-like feel.

Ping i230 irons review

Over the ball, these still have a strong Ping design language. For players’ irons they are not so small that they are intimidating and there is still a decent bit of topline to give you confidence over the golf ball.

Ping i230 irons: What’s new?

Firstly, Ping looked at the shaping. They wanted to offer something slightly smaller than the i210. In the longer irons the blade lengths have been made shorter to help with consistent club face delivery. The sole shaping has also been tweaked with a more rounded lead edge and ample bounce to allow the club to glide through the turf easily.

Inside the club head, the weight has been repositioned to lower the centre of gravity. More weight low down in the club makes these irons easier to launch, gives you more distance and also increases MOI for more forgiveness. MOI has been boosted further thanks to the tungsten screw in the toe.

Ping i230 irons

The club face also bends more than before to deliver more ball speed across the club face.

The grooves are precision milled, and have Ping’s signature hydropearl 2.0 chrome finish, to promote optimal launch and spin and give you greater control even in wet or grassy conditions.

These are players irons so feel is important, Ping researchers have done extensive modal analysis looking at what frequencies make a club head sound undesirable. The result was a re-engineered cavity badge to damp these sounds and improve overall sound and feel.

Ping i230 irons review: NCG verdict

Before Ping released the new i230 model, they were already racking up wins on tour. Straight away when I started hitting these I loved the soft, yet solid, sound and feel and could see why they have ended up in the bags of numerous tour players. It is quite surprising how players like these feel even with the slightly larger sizing.

Across the board, I had a consistent high ball flight. This was great for stopping the ball on the green but into the wind, it sometimes felt slightly excessive.

If you’re wondering about the screw in the toe, it is just one element of the five-piece construction system to deliver more consistent, predictable distance.

These do have thicker soles compared to other players’ clubs on the market, but the geometry is really clever to give you great turf interaction. The leading edge is very rounded, and the back of the club head is considerably chamfered giving you much more ground control than you may of imagined.

Modern irons tend to create very low spin so I was super impressed with the data I got here. A 5-iron spinning in the 5000s is almost unheard of, this helped keep my ball flight straighter but also gave me loads of control and stopping power coming into the green. This is clearly crucial in the long irons if you want to be able to stop the ball when coming into the greens.

This also really helped with my carry distances, by keeping them consistent and allowing for small dispersion groupings. It wasn’t just the back-to-front distance that was impressive. My left-to-right dispersion was great too. All my shots finished within a 20-yard corridor which is very consistent.

Interestingly pretty much all my misses were to the right. This will suit the majority of lower-handicap golfers who hate to see the ball travel to the left.

Ping i230 irons review

The biggest downside for me was the distance. I carry my current 5-iron around the 175 mark, my 7-iron 154 and my 9-iron 134 yards. For me, these just wouldn’t carry far enough to work in my current bag set-up as I would be left with a rather large gap between my 5 and 4-iron.

Ping i230 irons review

If you love the idea of these clubs, but like me want extra distance, do not panic. These are also available with what Ping are calling ‘Power Lofts’. This is a set of the i230 irons with stronger lofts providing extra distance for players that want it.

If you are on the other end of the spectrum and already have too much distance, you can opt for the ‘Retro spec’ where the lofts are two degrees weaker.

Overall this was a seriously enjoyable iron to hit. I found I didn’t want to stop testing as the towering ball flight, with its impressive control, was really fun to hit. For players who crave a club that allows them to use their touch and feel and be creative, this is a great option. But also there is an added level of forgiveness that you wouldn’t expect this type of iron to deliver.

Ping i230 irons review: The details

Available: Custom Fitting Now

RRP: £180 per iron (steel) £190 per iron (graphite)

Lofts:
Standard 3 – 19°, 4 – 22.5°, 5 – 26°, 6 – 29.5°, 7 – 33°, 8 – 37°, 9 – 41°, PW – 45°, UW – 50°

Retro 3 – 21°, 4 – 24.5°, 5 – 28°, 6 – 31.5°, 7 – 35°, 8 – 39°, 9 – 43°, PW – 47°, UW – 52°

Power 3 – 19°, 4 – 22°, 5 – 25°, 6 – 28°, 7 – 31.5°, 8 – 35.5°, 9 – 40°, PW – 44.5°, UW – 49.5°

Stock shaft: Dynamic Gold 105 and Ping Alta CB Black

More information: Ping website

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Hannah Holden

Equipment and Instruction Editor

Hannah Holden is the Equipment and Instruction Editor here at National Club Golfer. If you’re looking to improve your game, by changing your golf swing or upgrading your golf equipment she’ll have the answers. As well as writing lots of features and reviews you can find her on our YouTube channel giving you insights on the latest rules, clubs and tips to improve your golf game. Hannah is a member at both Huddersfield and Alwoodley golf clubs. You will either find her here or driving up and down the country playing in a variety of elite amateur events.

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